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HIPPA security rules

Great Lakes Imaging would like to inform you of the new HIPPA security rules:

The HIPAA Security Rule (45 C.F.R. § 164.308 (a)(5)(ii)(B) requires that all software used by Covered Entities and Business Associates be kept current and up to date with updates from the software vendor. If a vendor no longer supports a software program, it cannot be used. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 7. After that date, simply having a Windows 7 computer on your network will be a HIPAA violation. Windows 7 HIPPA compliance won’t be possible. At Great Lakes Imaging we can update your computer to Windows 10.

From Microsoft’s Windows 7 Web page:

Support for Windows 7 is ending

All good things must come to an end, even Windows 7. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. But you can keep the good times rolling by moving to Windows 10.

Is Windows 7 HIPAA Compliance still possible?

Yes, if you are using Windows 7 now, you can still achieve compliance.  However, after January 14th, 2020 that won’t be possible. As stated above, even having a single Windows 7 computer on your network at the time will be an instant violation of HIPAA regulations. Extended support for Windows 7 will end and no new updates will be available from Microsoft. This includes updates for any new security holes that are found in Windows 7 after that date. Call or email Great Lakes Imaging for pricing to upgrade to Windows 10.

Because of its popularity, many Covered Entities and Business Associates are still using Windows 7. Migrating a large number of computers will take time and planning. The main issue will be ensuring it’s done before attesting for Meaningful Use.

No meaningful use using Windows 7

Where this becomes very serious is when a Covered Entity goes to attest under MIPS for Meaningful Use. Meaningful Use requires that Covered Entities also attest that they are HIPAA compliant. If a Covered Entity is using a Windows 7 computer next year and goes to attest, this will be an issue. Especially since the entity is stating they are compliant when it’s not possible that they are.

What do you need to do?

Here are some steps you can follow to get migrated over to Microsoft Windows 10 and remain in HIPAA compliance. Call or email Great Lakes Imaging, and let us help you through the process.

  1. Perform a Risk Assessment: If you haven’t already done so, do a thorough Risk Assessment of your practice (or business). This will reveal all of the computers that are running Windows 7.
  2. Assess your current hardware: Will you need new hardware? If so, how will you go about purchasing them? If your current computers will be able to handle Windows 10, then you can move forward.
  3. Plan your Windows 10 Migration: If you need to purchase new computers, get them ordered. If your computers are good, then download the Windows 10 update. Microsoft doesn’t publish it widely, but you can still upgrade to Windows 10 at no charge if you are using Windows 7.
  4. Dispose of old Windows 7 computers: Your old Windows 7 computers will still have Protected Health Information on them. The hard drives need to be wiped with a secure wipe method before you dispose of them. If you engage an outside service, make sure they provide you with a certification of destruction to add to your own HIPAA documentation. This will validate that you performed your due diligence to destroy the PHI that may have been on the old hard drives.

Other Microsoft software that is not HIPAA compliant

If you are one of the 5% still using Windows XP, its time to upgrade. Support for Windows XP ended in 2014. Windows XP was such a stable and good operating system, very much like Windows 7, that many people didn’t want to leave it. However, there have been no security updates for Windows XP for many years and it cannot be considered safe. On top of that, it is very much a HIPAA violation.

Windows Vista, one of Microsoft’s least popular operating systems, is used less than 1% of the time. Its support ended in April 2017. If you are still using Vista, this is a HIPAA violation.

Windows 8 was a popular operating system and it still holds 5% of the market. Extended support for Windows 8 will be available until 2023.

Another issue waiting to bite practices and their business associates will be servers running Windows Server 2003 and 2008. Windows Server 2003 was retired in 2015 and Windows 2008 will be retired at the same time as Windows 7, January 14, 2020. Servers are often used for longer periods than workstations and because of this, they are forgotten. If you are using a server with either of these operating systems, it is time to upgrade. The issue is, however, that the servers will also likely need to be replaced. Servers that old won’t be able to run the newer Microsoft operating systems for servers. Installing a new server is a much more prolonged process than changing your workstations. It involves relocating practice management and EMR data, setting up a new domain for your office and setting up security for compliance. Allow Great Lakes Imaging to help you become Hippa compliant.

Summary

The HIPAA Security Rule requires that all Covered Entities or Business Associates use software that is supported by the vendor. If the software is no longer supported, it is not HIPAA compliant. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will retire support for Windows 7, one of its most popular operating systems. If your practice (or business for Business Associates) is still using Windows 7 on your network, the time is now to start planning your migration to Windows 10. 2020 is just a few months away and will be here soon enough. Start taking action now so that you won’t have a Windows 7 HIPAA compliance issue in your practice. Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free for users of Windows 7, so there is no reason not to upgrade. If you are still using Windows 7 after January 14, 2020, and attest for MIPS, then you will have another issue since part of attesting is stating your HIPAA compliance.

Contact us today to get Hippa compliant.

Phone:586-268-9200

Email: info@greatlakesimaging.com

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Should You Replace or Repair Medical Equipment?

You don’t need an MD or Ph.D. to know that some things simply don’t work the same as they age. That’s true of your patients’ bodies, and it’s equally true of the equipment your practice uses to diagnose and treat them. If you’ve ever been faced with the question of buying new medical equipment or opting for medical equipment repair in Troy, MI, Great Lakes Imaging can help you make an educated decision.

Medical Equipment Maintenance and Repair in the Troy, MI Area

Signs of Malfunctioning Medical Equipment

Malfunctions take many forms. These include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Mechanical problems, like a height adjustment that won’t work on a treatment table
  • Electrical problems, where a machine doesn’t turn on or off or fails to cycle properly
  • Image quality problems, where an X-ray is darker or lighter than it should be, shows clouding or shadows or is otherwise inaccurate
  • Leakage of lubricant or hydraulic fluid
  • Grinding noises from motorized equipment, common in aging HYLO tables and cathode ray tubes alike
  • Arcing that interrupts the imaging process
  • Problems with higher-than-normal operating temperatures
  • Software glitches that cause operating errors of various kinds

If you have, or even suspect, a problem, call us immediately. We will diagnose the problem, provide you with a written repair estimate and timeframe, and help you decide between repairing medical practice equipment or opting to browse our stock of new and used medical equipment in Troy MI.

Potential Dangers of Malfunctioning Equipment

“Surely it can’t be that bad,” you think to yourself. There are a few things to bear in mind if you’re hesitant about picking up the phone.

  • Diagnostic equipment that is broken or miscalibrated results in a higher incidence of retakes, increasing radiation exposure for patients and staff alike
  • Some forms of equipment malfunction — especially those that are mechanical — can injure practitioners and patients alike if the equipment remains in service
  • Patient injury can lead to a loss of credibility and significant liability exposure; the death of a patient can be catastrophic for all involved, and even if you’re well-insured, could easily lead to the loss of your practice

None of this is inevitable, of course. Ensure that your equipment meets or exceeds all safety standards, that you’ve gotten professional medical equipment installation, that its proper use is known and enforced, and that it’s inspected and maintained regularly. If repairs are needed, take the equipment out of use and call Great Lakes Imaging immediately.

Medical Imaging Equipment Services in the Troy, MI Area

Great Lakes Imaging provides several services to ensure your medical imaging equipment is always ready to give its best.

  • On-site equipment repairs that minimize disruption to your practice
  • Off-site equipment repairs in our Michigan workshop, for larger or more complex fixes
  • X-ray calibrations, since “close enough” isn’t close enough for medical imaging
  • Clinical equipment maintenance and repairs for items like chiropractic tables, exam tables, radiation shielding, and other hardware that requires TLC

Working with Great Lakes Imaging

Great Lakes Imaging is more than medical equipment sales in the Upper Midwest. We back what we sell with a full range of support services, including maintenance, repairs, medical equipment installation, and much more. You can buy with confidence, knowing that the help you need is always a click or call away.

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Trends In Medical Imaging

Medicine has always changed with the times, and that’s a good thing. It’s safe to say that none of us wants to go back to a time when treatment involved bloodletting, or when diagnostics meant exploratory surgery! Medical imaging has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years, leading to advances in medical imaging equipment. Great Lakes Imaging has identified five medical imaging trends that could soon have an impact on your practice.

Future-Proof Your Practice.

Five Medical Imaging Trends to Watch

Each of the trends below is already in motion. Some are based on new medical imaging equipment technology that is still evolving, while others represent new ways to use established equipment.


Artificial and Augmented Intelligence

Machine learning is exciting because it uses “experience” mined from vast data sets to shorten the amount of time required for diagnosis while also delivering a higher degree of accuracy. Augmented intelligence, in the meantime, can be thought of as a slightly less-robust version of AI that is capable of taking over some previously manual parts of the physician’s workflow to free up more time to see patients.

Augmented Reality and 3D Imaging

Most diagnostic imaging takes place in two dimensions. Augmented reality and virtual reality tools, combined with emerging 3D scanning capabilities, are allowing doctors and surgeons to visualize surgical obstacles, blockages, and other potential problems before treatment to stave off complications and improve patient outcomes.

Advances in Diagnostics

Nuclear medicine is truly coming into its own. PET and combination PET/CT scanners are being used to diagnose heart conditions and cancer as well as detecting amyloid plaque that could previously only be found via an autopsy, leveraging previously unheard-of levels of precision.

Wearables

Wearables already allow patients to monitor vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and insulin levels. However, a new class of wearables goes a step further by combining wearable tech with imaging. An MRI glove developed by NYU enables accurate images of patients’ hands as they perform various everyday tasks, and the Portable MEG Brain Scanner provides similar insight into brain activity, promising to improve detection and treatment for disorders like epilepsy.

Improving Patient Experience

Another emerging trend in medical imaging is a growing acknowledgment of patient experience. Some of this, like the use of open MRIs or portable X-ray equipment, is technological. Some, however, are decidedly more human-centered. Setting realistic expectations, and then meeting or exceeding them, is key to limiting waiting periods for results, thereby ensuring patients’ peace of mind. To that end:

  • Know your capacity, and communicate anticipated wait times for results.
  • Know your practice’s current and anticipated choke points, and work to address them.
  • Reinforce the proper chain of communication; more often than not, it’s the referring physician who’ll be communicating their interpretation of results, and patient inquiries must be directed properly.

Balancing Future Trends With Current Medical Imaging Needs

What can we draw from this, especially since some of the technologies and approaches discussed above are still in their infancy? We see three takeaways.

  1. We can’t afford to wait for what’s next. Instead, it’s important to make the most of what we have now while keeping a watchful eye on what’s next.
  2. Likewise, it’s important to carefully maintain X-ray equipment or replace it on schedule, to ensure proper function, reduce the need for retakes, and provide efficient delivery of results to optimize the process for treatment providers and patients alike.
  3. No matter what changes, some fundamentals remain; chief among these is not forgetting the human touch in medical imaging, which is something no amount of AI or robotics will ever truly replace.

Must-Have Imaging Equipment for Your Lab

Outfitting a lab is as much art as science. It’s having the right people operating the best medical imaging equipment in a medical imaging suite design that helps proper workflow, all protected by the correct X-ray shielding. A consultation with Great Lakes Imaging will help you get started on the right foot, so call us today!

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Accessible And Inclusive Medical Imaging

Better Disabled Accessibility Ensures Healthcare Access for All

These days, DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives are all the rage. We’re more careful about acknowledging and embracing diverse identities, more conscious of representation in hiring processes and in boardrooms, and doing what we can to improve access, while also considering the impact of our actions on the communities we serve. In medicine and even in medical equipment sales, however, members of the disabled community could be forgiven for wondering if many practices got the memo, especially concerning medical imaging, radiology equipment, and accessible X-ray machines.

Design and Equip Your Practice for Accessibility.

Medical Barriers Faced by the Disabled

The disabled face cultural and structural barriers in addition to any limitations that may arise from their disability. The National Institutes of Health estimates that those with significant disabilities comprise more than 12% of the population, and acknowledges that they face significant disparities in accessibility, quality of care, and treatment outcomes. What are the consequences of this?

  • Higher costs for care and transportation alike
  • Physical barriers posed by narrow doorways, lack of ramps, poor signage, and a dearth of equipment like accessible X-ray machines and height-adjusting treatment tables
  • A lack of training and skills in treating the disabled among practitioners and staff

As a result, the disabled are more likely to rate their health as fair or poor than those who are not disabled.

Benefits of Accessibility

The benefits of improved accessibility are twofold.

Accessibility Benefits the Disabled

Addressing the disparities we mentioned earlier has clear benefits for the disabled. Improved diagnostics lead in turn to earlier intervention and treatment, followed by improved quality of life overall.

Accessibility Benefits Your Practice

While some practices do the yeoman’s work of improving accessibility, many others treat it as an afterthought. A reputation for accessibility can raise your profile and reputation alike, while the improved quality of care you can provide will in turn remind you of what drew you to your field in the first place. We think that’s a win-win.

How Can Medical Practices Better Accommodate Those with Disabilities?

As Dr. Joel Michael Reynolds notes in the AMA Journal of Ethics,

“[P]eople with disabilities, on the whole, flourish in all sorts of bodies and in all sorts of ways. What many people with disabilities do report as diminishing quality of life is often less the direct effect of their physical or psychological impairments than the effects of living in a society that is designed for and supportive of able-bodied people alone.”

So how do we make healthcare accessibility a fact of life?

  • Listen to your patients: a common refrain in disabled communities is “Nothing about us without us.” When your patients have something to tell you about their accessibility concerns, take them seriously. But don’t stop there; address those concerns in tangible, meaningful ways.
  • Understand the diversity of disabled populations: Disability takes many forms, including cognitive, intellectual, and sensory disabilities in addition to more obvious physical disabilities. Not all patients will be comfortable disclosing or discussing them, especially if they’ve been shamed or denigrated for them in the past.
  • Remember, this is accessibility for all: What you do to improve accessibility for disabled patients will often have a follow-on effect of improving care for all of your patients, and making it easier for you and your staff to deliver a higher standard of care overall. Accessible diagnostics, from mammograms to open MRIs to X-ray machines designed to accommodate the disabled, are ultimately for everyone’s benefit.
  • Familiarize yourself and your staff with relevant guidelines: Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990 are intended to improve access to employment, services, telecommunications, and places of public accommodation. If you require assistance with selecting accessible medical equipment, or with medical equipment installation  — which can be challenging, especially when introducing new equipment in tight spaces — Great Lakes Imaging can help.
  • Revisit and train, getting outside help when you can: Here, we return to our first point. Multiple resources and consultants are originating from disabled communities; enlist them to ensure that you’re designing a practice that’s accessible to all, and when you need help equipping that practice, turn to Great Lakes Imaging.
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Protecting Your Eyes From Radiation

Protect Your Eyes From Radiation Exposure

If you grew up in the days of cathode ray tube televisions and monitors, you probably got a lecture about sitting too close, lest you damage your eyes. As it turns out, Mom was onto something; CRTs did, in fact, give off small amounts of radiation. But anyone who works around X-ray machines in Michigan knows that X-ray safety protocols matter. In addition to radiology equipment and medical radiation shielding, it’s vital to ensure that you’re shielded, including — and perhaps especially — your eyes.

Radiology Equipment and Safety Solutions in Troy, MI and Beyond.

How Can X-Ray Exposure Damage Your Eyes?

Exposure to X-rays need not be prolonged to be damaging. Remember, the effects are cumulative, so repeated exposure even in very small doses can have adverse effects over time.

Signs of X-Ray Exposure

Even brief or low-level exposure can cause damage to exposed tissues. Because the eyes are more sensitive, you may feel pain or notice inflammation within one to three hours of exposure. You may even suffer first-degree burns or swelling. The most common form of eye damage, however, may not show up until much later.

Cataracts

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. They can be corrected with surgery, but your best course of action is to avoid it altogether; this is especially true because the incidence of cataracts is much higher among X-ray techs than among the general population, and because radiation can contribute to cataract formation at a much lower threshold than the exposure limits established by the Nuclear Regulatory Committee, and by some estimations, even lower than the 150 mSv limit for exposure established by the ICRP.

Other Forms of Eye Damage from X-Rays

Radiation wreaks havoc on soft tissue, so it should come as no surprise that failing to protect your eyes from X-rays can lead to extensive damage.

  • Dry eye syndrome caused by tear duct damage
  • Blood vessel damage that leads to bleeding into the eye
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Retinitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Eye cancer

How to Protect the Eyes from Ionizing Radiation

If you’re an X-ray technician, you probably take many steps to minimize patients’ exposure and ensure their safety. We encourage you to be no less diligent about your own safety. “Just this once” isn’t acceptable.

Proper protection is no less important if you’re not an X-ray tech. Fluoroscopic procedures call for protection as well, and staff in a variety of settings — doctor’s offices, clinics, or hospitals — should keep extra protective equipment on hand for those who are consulting, “just passing through,” or who will be around your X-ray equipment while it’s in use.

Regarding eye protection against X-ray exposure, there are multiple options available. Leaded glasses remain the industry standard since they perform well at attenuating exposure. Wear them — and look for models that feature side protection in addition to the shielding provided by the lenses.

Radiation Shielding and Medical Supplies in Troy, MI

As experts in medical imaging — and the protection of practitioners and patients alike — for more than 50 years, Great Lakes Imaging is a trusted source for radiology equipment, shielding, and a full range of diagnostic solutions. For custom medical equipment solutions, medical equipment installation, and more, contact us today.

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What Medical Equipment Is Needed When Setting Up A New Veterinary Office?

Veterinary Imaging Equipment

No matter what kind of practice you’re running — podiatrist, dentist, chiropractor, or general practitioner-patient diagnostics are every bit as important as the treatment that follows. Vets are no exception; veterinary imaging equipment in MI, including veterinary ultrasound, x-rays, and other imaging modalities, matter just as much to our furry friends as they do in human care. So if you’re looking for veterinary imaging equipment to outfit a new practice or expand an existing one, turn to the same trusted source your colleagues have long trusted for veterinary equipment and supplies in the Detroit area: Great Lakes Imaging.

Who’s Your Best Source For Veterinary Diagnostics? We Are! Oh Yes, We Are!

Veterinary Imaging Equipment

Diagnostics are key to proper care for humans and their fuzzy companions alike.

Veterinary X-Ray Equipment

For decades, veterinary X-ray equipment and advanced veterinary digital imaging equipment have been the first line of diagnostics in veterinary medicine. Its ability to image bone and other hard tissues, find masses, or identify blockages proves its worth daily.

Veterinary Ultrasound

As good as they are, X-rays aren’t always the right tool for the job. Veterinary ultrasound equipment helps to monitor the health of unborn animals, identify soft-tissue damage, pinpoint circulatory issues, and find a host of other problems for which X-rays aren’t intended or indicated.

Other Imaging Modalities

Don’t forget that your imaging is not limited to the options we’ve already listed. Not every practice will have room for MRIs and other bulkier forms of imaging equipment, but their precision is necessary for certain diagnostics. Questions about sourcing? Call us.

X-Ray Shielding

Because veterinary X-ray machines rely on the same dangerous ionizing radiation as any other X-ray machine, protection is extremely important. Great Lakes Imaging can help ensure your technicians and patients alike are kept as safe as possible with medical radiation shielding.

Research Equipment

In addition to medical imaging, we cannot overlook the importance of pathology in veterinary practice. Microscopes, Petri dishes, incubators, centrifuges, and other types of medical equipment should be considered for these purposes.

Veterinary Surgical Equipment

A surgical suite is a key part of many practices. Here, your needs will be somewhat different.

  • Treatment tables
  • Scales to determine the weight for proper anesthesia and medication dosages
  • Anesthesia and respiratory equipment
  • Monitoring and telemetry
  • IV bags and syringe pumps
  • Suction
  • Endoscopic equipment
  • Surgical instruments
  • Autoclaves and sterilization equipment for those instruments

Miscellaneous Veterinary Equipment and Supplies

There’s a fair amount that falls under the heading of “other,” without which your practice won’t function as smoothly as it should.

  • Cages and crates for holding and recovery, which may also double for boarding in some practices
  • Incubators
  • Storage solutions for the assorted equipment and supplies accumulated for your practice
  • Dental equipment
  • Medications and vaccines
  • Refrigeration for the storage of temperature-sensitive items
  • Bags for items pet owners will be taking home with them, as well as folders for medical records and discharge instructions (an excellent opportunity for branding)

Custom Veterinary Solutions in Michigan

There are, of course, other items that matter. A comfortable waiting room with chairs, tables, and refreshments is always welcome, as are supplied to clean up pets’ inevitable accidents. Decor, magazine subscriptions… the list never seems to end. When it comes to taking care of the core equipment that matters most to your patients to get them back to their bright-eyed, tail-wagging best, get in touch with Great Lakes Imaging!

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Impact of Robotics and AI For Michigan Healthcare Equipment Providers

Robot consulting with a physician

From the medical droids in Star Wars to Star Trek’s Emergency Medical Hologram, robotics and artificial intelligence have long been part of science fiction. When it comes to healthcare imaging equipment, you don’t need a hypospray or a tricorder to take advantage of this kind of technology. Thanks to advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), yesterday’s science fiction is quickly becoming today’s common practice in new and exciting ways, impacting everything from medical imaging equipment to supply chain management.

Advanced Healthcare Solutions with a Human Touch.

Applications for Robotics and AI in Healthcare

Robotics isn’t just for car factories anymore, nor do you need to brush up on Asimov to understand how AI can improve healthcare.

How Robotics is Changing Healthcare

It won’t be long before our medical equipment installation includes robots. Robotics has had an outsized impact on healthcare. At one extreme, they’ve become sensitive and advanced enough to be used for remote surgery using telehealth apps and robots capable of a degree of precision even the best human surgeon cannot match. At the other end of the spectrum, robots are also delivering supplies, cleaning medical suites, and taking on vital tasks like improving the speed and accuracy of order picking and prescription filling.

How AI is Changing Healthcare

As important as robotics are to modern healthcare, the new look of smarter healthcare may not be a cheery pixelated face or a precise robotic arm. Instead, it might be a series of zeroes and ones underpinning everything from medical devices to advanced medical X-ray equipment to record-keeping, comparing the results from ultrasound equipment over time, and long-term care planning. Among the ways artificial intelligence is already changing healthcare:

  • Leveraging the IoMT (internet of medical things, including devices like insulin monitors and other wearables) to improve patient health
  • Using predictive modeling to improve early detection of many conditions
  • Improving diagnostics that combines digital medical imaging and records with machine learning to encompass a broad range of medical learning and patient experience
  • Devising comprehensive care plans that boost medication and treatment adherence while improving patient outcomes
  • Improving research and training to boost the human element in healthcare

How Can Your Practice Benefit from AI and Robotics?

Both robotics and artificial intelligence have evolved to a point where their use is no longer either/or; it’s both/and since AI is being combined with robotics in ways that leverage the best of both. To cite just a few examples:

  • Companionship: Robots that take the form of anything from a tiny human to an adorable robotic dog can provide additional socialization outlets for patients, especially those whose condition or illness might otherwise leave them isolated.
  • Safety: One thing we’ve learned from COVID is that humans are capable of tremendous bravery born of compassion; we’ve also seen, firsthand, the risks posed to human caregivers and their patients alike. Using robots for common clinical tasks like monitoring, diagnostics, and even disinfection can keep everyone safer.
  • Rehabilitation: Exoskeletons, once the province of eccentric comic book billionaires are now being used to help patients re-learn how to walk or undertake ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), or to improve safety when it’s helpful to augment human capabilities.

Looking ahead, it’s not hard to see how robotics and AI can find still more applications. Every vet or vet tech we’ve ever spoken to, for instance, has multiple stories about panicked animals who were difficult to control or caused injury to their caregivers; robotics can maintain a high-touch standard of care, albeit at a safe remove. AI and robotics can also help to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation felt by many seniors and those in the disabled community.

Are There Disadvantages to Robotics and AI in Healthcare?

For all their promise, robotics and AI aren’t without their downsides. For example, while robotics would theoretically free up time for physicians to see patients, there are fears that the healthcare industry’s profit motivation will demand ever-growing volume and growth. This, in turn, may simply result in even more of an assembly line mentality than already exists.

AI has its potential pitfalls as well. After all, artificial intelligence relies on algorithms still built on biases “learned” from their programmers, which can, in turn, reinforce prejudices that undermine patient outcomes, particularly in historically underserved communities. While there’s significant promise in these new technologies, there’s also an accompanying need to shine light into these darker corners, learn from what we find, and always strive to do better.

Healthcare and Diagnostics, Evolved

Over our decades of service to the Detroit area and beyond, Great Lakes Imaging has seen many changes in healthcare technology. We take pride in helping our customers chart a way forward by offering cutting-edge equipment alongside custom medical equipment solutions. We would love to help you do the same. Why not call us today?

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What Are the Types of Ultrasound Machines Available in the Midwest?

Ultrasound equipment for sale

Medical imaging equipment comes in all shapes, sizes, and types — CAT scans, MRI, PET scans, X-rays, and ultrasound among them. But even within a single type of imaging equipment, there can be significant differences. A dental x-ray machine, for instance, is considerably different from a chiropractic X-ray machine, and even ultrasound machines come in a variety of configurations and sizes. So how do you choose the best ultrasound machine for your medical practice?

Ultrasound Equipment Solutions? Sounds Great!

Ultrasound Machine Types: Choosing the Right Machine for Your Practice in Michigan

You may have arrived here hoping that we would suggest a specific make and model. In truth, choosing the right ultrasound machine has more to do with its fit within your practice; once you’ve gone through the checklist below, you’ll be better equipped to narrow your choices (or may even find that your needs practically dictate the decision for you).

Ultrasound Equipment Budget

Cost isn’t the sole determinant of the best ultrasound machine, but it’s important nonetheless. Start your search with a budget in mind, also remembering that it’s possible to save by choosing refurbished used ultrasound equipment so you don’t need to sacrifice function for cost.

Ultrasound Equipment Functionality

While ultrasound is often thought of as a diagnostic tool, it also has treatment applications. Furthermore, depending on the unit you choose, ultrasound machines can display results in two dimensions, three dimensions, or even four dimensions (3D, plus the tracking of changes in real-time). It’s also worth noting that some machines offer the choice of grayscale or full-color display, with the latter proving especially useful for imaging circulatory problems.

Ultrasound Equipment Ease of Use

Besides probes and peripherals, your choice of imaging software will go some way toward influencing your choice. Some types of software are capable not only of logging test results, but also of adjusting resolution and contrast, conducting pattern recognition, and other functions your practice may find useful.

Ultrasound Equipment Portability

Some ultrasound machines rely on a console design that is intended to be stationary. This can be practical if your practice has the space for a dedicated ultrasound suite, but it may not be advisable for practices where ultrasound is used less frequently, or where space is at a premium. In those instances, a portable ultrasound machine is a better choice.

Custom Ultrasound Features

In addition to the option of portability, ultrasound machines also rely on some different probes, each suited to a different diagnostic purpose. What fits perfectly in an orthopedic or gynecological practice might be useless in the context of veterinary medicine (for example), so it’s important to consider your and your patient’s needs as you shop.

Why It Matters: Ultrasound Benefits

Ultrasound has numerous benefits for practitioners and patients alike.

  • Ultrasound is ideal for imaging soft tissue that X-rays would pass through
  • It relies on sound waves rather than ionizing radiation; this means there’s no need for radiation shielding, and also that ultrasound is safer for technicians, patients, and unborn children alike
  • Unlike an MRI or CAT scan, patients are not enclosed, making examinations less stressful
  • Exam preparation is safe, simple, and hypoallergenic since it does not rely on dyes or contrast solutions
  • Ultrasound is noninvasive
  • Results are rapid, and ultrasound is even used for real-time guidance during complex surgeries
  • Results are easily shared, making consultations and comparisons easier than they may be with other diagnostic modalities
  • Because of its simplicity of use and interpretation, ultrasound is often cheaper than other forms of medical imaging
  • Through decades of use, there are no documented instances of harmful side effects from ultrasound

Contact Great Lakes Imaging for an Imaging Equipment Consultation!

Every type of medical imaging equipment sold by Great Lakes Imaging has its place and purpose. As good as it is, ultrasound should therefore be viewed as a supplement to other forms of diagnostic imaging, rather than a replacement for X-ray machines and the like. For help designing and sourcing the right diagnostic equipment for your practice, get in touch with us today!

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Innovative Medical Technologies Impacting Chiropractic Equipment in Michigan

Emerging technology in chiropractic equipment

In many ways, chiropractic medicine remains true to its roots. Spinal manipulation is still more associated with high-touch than with high-tech. However, chiropractors have always embraced new technologies — from drop tables to infrared light — when a clear patient benefit was evident. These days, a host of new technologies are bringing still more innovation to chiropractic care and chiropractic equipment for sale in the Midwest.

Chiropractic Equipment Questions? Custom Solutions?

How New Technology is Impacting Chiropractic Products

Technology is finding its way into every phase of chiropractic care. How we diagnose and treat chiropractic issues, and even how we manage pain, are evolving by leaps and bounds. While there is still, and will likely always be, a place for traditional methods and tools of the trade, today’s chiropractor has more tools at her disposal than ever before.

Advances in Chiropractic Diagnostic Equipment

Chiropractic diagnostics once relied exclusively on chiropractic X-ray equipment to diagnose a patient’s problems and chart a plan of treatment. However, new advances in digital imaging for chiropractic, including infrared thermal imaging, are allowing new visibility into patients’ neuromuscular systems, allowing a higher degree of precision without gamma rays.

Advances in Chiropractic Treatment Equipment

Chiropractic adjustment tables have evolved, with some now finding use alongside traction treatment tables for chiropractic or even roller massage tables. However, newer equipment like the PulStar uses precise impulses — adjusted in part by patients’ biofeedback — to advance treatment further still.

Advances in Chiropractic Pain Management Equipment

Pain and loss of motion are among the most common complaints that bring patients to their chiropractors. Restoring function and alleviating suffering is important; just as important, for practitioners and patients alike, is finding chemical-free treatment modalities. While TENS units, infrared light, and laser treatments are already revolutionizing treatment, we’re also noticing the emergence of so-called K-Laser therapy, which combines light on the visible and infrared spectrums. Besides being an effective treatment to alleviate back and neck pain, it’s also shown to be effective in other complaints like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger points, and plantar fasciitis.

Chiropractic Equipment Repairs and Maintenance

While Great Lakes Imaging stands by the quality of our new and used chiropractic equipment for sale in the Midwest, we know two things for certain. First, chiropractic equipment requires maintenance, and with higher technology comes new needs for inspection and calibration. Second, even the best-designed, best-built, and best-maintained chiropractic equipment can still break down.

In either instance, we’re standing by to address your needs, taking care of most maintenance and repairs on-site to minimize disruption and get your practice back to full function fast — just as you’d do for your patients. In the event that a more complex repair is needed, we’ll take care of service in-house and get your equipment back to you in perfect working order.

Find the Right Chiropractic Equipment for Your Practice

Whether you have specific chiropractic equipment in mind, or you know your practice has a significant gap that you’re not sure how to plug, get in touch with Great Lakes Imaging. We’re happy to consult with you, and custom-design solutions that are the perfect fit.

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Chiropractic Vs. Massage Tables: What’s the Difference?

One need not be a mechanic or carpenter to appreciate the old axiom that it’s best to find the right tool for the job. Treatment tables are important in medical practices, but chiropractors and massage therapists’ needs are much more specialized. The differences between treatment modalities — and between chiropractic tables and massage tables —  makes an educated choice especially important to best serve the patient.

Chiropractic Vs. Massage: Different Treatments, Different Needs

Both chiropractic and massage concern themselves with returning their patients to full function and well-being. Their approaches are different, however, with chiropractors  focused on spinal alignment (and, therefore, the skeletal system) while massage therapists’ primary focus is on muscle tissue. There is overlap between the two. On one hand, uneven muscle tone, a strain, or a pull can lead to spinal misalignment; on the other, that misalignment can lead to muscle inflammation as the body seeks to compensate. But the approaches taken to treatment—and the equipment used in each case—highlight some important differences.

Chiropractic Table Design and Use

Chiropractic tables do share some features in common with massage tables. Both can be height-adjustable to maximize comfort for the professional and the patient alike, and both make use of design features that are intended to maximize patient posture during treatment. But there are features on chiropractic tables that are typically absent from massage tables (about which, see below).

Likewise, traction tables and rolling massage tables—increasingly common fixtures in chiropractors’ offices—tend to be absent from massage therapy. This is due in part to the massage therapist’s more hands-on role, but it also speaks to a divergence in function; the chiropractor’s rolling table is intended to maintain disc separation and aid in maintaining adjustment, rather than being focused more exclusively on muscle groupings.

Massage Table Design and Use

Like their chiropractic counterparts, massage tables take many forms. You can, for instance, find portable massage tables that are strikingly similar to portable chiropractic tables, while stationary massage tables share some adjustability features—including tilt and telescoping functionality—that wouldn’t be out of place in a chiropractor’s office. But because the primary focus is on muscular, rather than spinal, manipulation, massage tables typically will not integrate drop and traction functions, among other features.

Why Not Both? Combining Treatment Modalities

For all the differences in the practices we serve—you’d be hard-pressed to find much in common between a podiatrist and a veterinarian—there is at least one thread that unites all of medicine: every practitioner wants the best possible outcomes for their patients. What might this mean for massage therapists and chiropractors?

In this instance, it’s worth seeing how the two intersect, and how each complements the other, rather than treating one as competition to the other. Many practitioners in both fields combine other forms of traditional and alternative therapies with their disciplines as it is, adding stretching, reflexology, and even therapies like acupuncture to their usual arsenal of approaches. So it’s natural that a growing number of chiropractors and massage therapists are working together out of the same spaces, and serving many of the same patients.

Medical Equipment in Southeast Michigan

Of course, maximizing those opportunities means ensuring that each has the proper medical equipment they need, which is just one reason that many medical professionals turn to Great Lakes Imaging. Our skill in design and medical equipment installation solutions is especially useful in mixed practices since it ensures that everyone has what they need, laid out in a way that ensures that comfort and workflow alike are maximized. To find out more about how we can help you, call for a consultation or answers to your medical equipment questions.

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Medical Device Product Launch Checklist

Checklists can help optimize your product launch

Dozens of medical devices and products are launched each year, and the medical device market is expected to grow from its size of $447.6 billion in 2019 to a staggering $671.5 billion by 2027.* If your business is one of the many medical device manufacturers in the Detroit area trying to break into this lucrative market—or if you’re already on the cusp of launching a breakthrough product in search of its ideal end-user—Great Lakes Imaging has advice on getting that product in front of the practitioners who’ll use it, based on our years’ worth of experience in medical imaging equipment, chiropractic equipment, and a variety of other medical equipment and supplies in Southeast Michigan and beyond.

Medical Product Launch 101

How do you go about launching a new medical device or product? Given the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in getting to this point, guesswork isn’t your friend. Instead, research and planning will help to ensure better execution.

Build a Framework

The FDA approval process for a new medical device like VitalStim Plus is notoriously unpredictable. Your product may sit in limbo for months or even years as it wends through Premarket Approval and Product Development Protocols, so when you finally get the green light, you won’t want to waste a single instant recouping the significant research, development, and legal costs associated with your design. Therefore, we suggest using this enforced downtime to begin devising a framework for your marketing campaign, putting as many of the initial pieces in place early so that it’s ready for launch with only minor changes.

Research the Major Players

Here, you’re researching two different cohorts. On one hand, you’ll want to research your competition, the better to understand their offerings within your segment and differentiate your new product from them. On the other hand, you’ll also need to research your target market, identifying their needs and pain points. This can apply in several ways; patient benefits are important, but if your product brings benefits to practitioners, especially in a way that can be tied to improved patient outcomes, that cannot be overlooked or given short shrift. The buyer personas that come out of this research will improve your campaign.

Determine Your Market Position

Product positioning is twofold. On the one hand, you’re asking yourself what your product does, who it’s for, and how they benefit from using your product as opposed to one of the others that already exists on the market. On the other hand, you can’t simply assume that the answers to these questions are self-apparent. You’ll need to validate your product to ensure that it has “legs” when it launches. One of the easiest ways we’ve seen to do this is to either take signups for product updates or to take pre-orders on that product through a medical equipment company or other trusted sales channels.

Set Your Launch Goals, and Train to Meet Them

If you don’t have concrete goals to meet, you may not know that you’ve lost the plot until it’s too late. Set and communicate tangible goals and communicate them to all relevant departments, soliciting feedback to ensure there’s nothing you’ve inadvertently missed.

Strategize Your Content

Up to this point, you’ve been working a lot on research, theory, and other intangibles. Now it’s time for that theory to find its practical application. Begin to assemble the components of your sales funnel–branding, marketing collateral, manuals, explainers, handouts, and training materials–using all that you’ve learned. Each piece of the puzzle will once be assembled, create the big picture that reinforces and advances the goals you’ve set.

Train Your Team

Once your materials are in place, train your team on the product’s USP (unique selling proposition), and anticipate the questions that are likely to arise throughout the sales process. Remember that the “team” in question isn’t just sales; it’s marketing, product development, customer support, legal, and several other stakeholders, whose buy-in and effort you’ll need to ensure success. You should also remember that this is not a one-and-done proposition; training needs to be ongoing, retooled to respond to the new questions and challenges that arise.

Measure, Revisit, and Retool

Training isn’t the only thing that needs constant revision and revisitation; you’ll want to measure your results by reliable performance indicators and make changes to your approach based on the data you’re receiving. If you’re willing to be flexible, you’ll be able to craft a strategy that is agile and effective.

Great Lakes Imaging: a Trusted Medical Device Partner

For decades, medical practices in the Midwest have turned to Great Lakes Imaging for imaging, diagnostics, and treatment equipment that improve patient outcomes and lives. For help meeting your challenges as a medical practice or manufacturer, we invite you to get in touch today.